Update on Covid 19 Plans – August 20, 2020

Dear Chalice Members and Friends,

The Board and I met to determine the next steps regarding reopening our buildings amidst ongoing Covid 19. In order to keep everyone in our congregation safe and in accordance with Ventura County and State guidelines, we will not be reopening our buildings for in-person gatherings until sometime next year. When Covid is under control and there are medical treatments and advances in contact tracing and testing, we will reevaluate. As you know, the UUA recommends definitive closure and online gathering through May 2021. Our Board is continuously monitoring the situation both locally and nationally and will reconsider plans based on current circumstances in January 2021.

Meanwhile, we continue to offer vibrant and sustaining online worship services and groups for adults and youth to meet your spiritual, emotional and justice needs. Please join us at some of our activities, so you may nurture your spirit, heart and mind and stay connected to your Chalice friends. You can find out more about what activities are available on our website at this link: Activities

Please also join us for our special Ingathering service on Sunday, September 13, when we will be conducting an important ritual to connect us all to one another and our beloved Chalice Fellowship. Meanwhile, I hope to see you this Sunday for a service focused on how we develop sustaining strategies to carry us through this time for the long haul.

In faith, love and perseverance,

Rev Nica


Saturday, June 6, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Chalice,

 

Last Sunday some church’s buildings reopened in our State and around the country. As I shared during last Sunday’s sermon, we at Chalice are in the fortunate position of being able to continue living into our mission virtually while keeping everyone safe. Though our buildings are closed, our Fellowship is very much open and reaching those who cannot attend in person – whether they are immune compromised, elderly, or unable to get to the Fellowship. We are holding fulfilling Worship, Singalongs, a weekly Meditation and Check-in, Family Chapel, RE groups, Chalice circles, doing justice work and more, all virtually.

 

The Board and I have looked very carefully at what reopening the buildings should look like for Chalice. We are committed to science based and phased plans that take the health and well-being of our whole congregation in mind. We are concerned about how we can best serve our mission and our whole community while not endangering one another.  The UUA is encouraging congregations to keep their buildings closed until May 2021 until treatments or vaccines are available for COVID-19. We are taking into account the UUA guidelines, our State and County recommendations, the CDC, our insurance company’s suggestions, as well as what our local UUA staff and other congregations are recommending. We are also observing other churches’ unfortunate experience with opening. Here is a graphic from the CDC about a church in Arkansas that stayed open.

 

The most important question for Chalice is whether we are living into our mission now? Yes, we are. Would we meet it as well with  all the restrictions currently necessary for worshipping in person – like 20 – 25 people max in the Sanctuary, no singing, everyone having their temperature taken, sitting 6 feet apart with masks on, and endless disinfection protocols? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. And yet, we are currently very much living into our mission to “nurture spiritually courageous people who transform the world through justice and compassion” with our Sunday virtual worship and our many groups and activities available throughout the week. So, for now, our buildings remain closed until Labor Day. At that time the Board will reassess the safety of gathering. Our commitment is to show unity by not leaving anyone behind, and to care for our whole community.

 

Thank you for understanding and for your faith as we seek to serve this community in the best way possible.

 

Please join us tomorrow at 10 am for our service on the UU spiritual journey and how we respond to this moment in time. We look forward to being together virtually.

 

In faith and fellowship,

 

Reverend Nica Eaton-Guinn & The Chalice Board

Thursday, March 12

Dearest Members and Friends of Chalice,

The rapid spread of the coronavirus worldwide is calling us to take immediate measures to keep our community safe and healthy. As of today, Ventura County has declared a local health emergency. The UUA and Ventura County are recommending that we implement social distancing to keep people safe, especially caring for our elders and those who are immunocompromised. In this way we can practice ethical leadership that prioritizes caring for the most vulnerable.  For these reasons, our leadership has decided that from this Sunday on, we will neither be conducting in-person worship or holding meetings at Chalice. Please be assured, this decision was not taken lightly, but we made this call, because we care about each and every one of you.

However, we are NOT cancelling church. Our services will move online.  We know it can be frightening and disorienting to feel cut off from the community you love so much, but please be assured that modern technology thankfully allows us to stay closely connected during these unusual times. We will be inviting you to connect with Chalice in some new ways. Some planned events will be reimagined as online gatherings, some will be postponed, and some suspended until the outbreak subsides. We will continue meeting virtually through at least the end of this month. At that time, we will reassess the situation. Meanwhile, while we stay apart, we want to stay connected!

Each week we will notify you if we are having the service on Facebook live-streaming or on Zoom. There will be a link to access the service on our website. If we are having the service on Facebook live, you can open Facebook at the time of the service (10 am) and browse to the Chalice page (listed below) where you will see the video.  If we are having a Zoom meeting, don’t worry, we will send you a link by email so you can sign in and view the service from your computer, phone or tablet. Also, please read our weekly News & Notes for other updates. Our continued connection is critical at this time and we plan to use multiple means to do that.

Here are some logistics:

  1. Facebook live-streaming.

  • Facebook live-streaming is like watching a broadcast of our service.  You will be able to type messages but others will not be able to see your video or hear your comments.

  • You don’t need a Facebook account to join the live-stream, but if you’d like to comment or participate more fully, please sign up with Facebook so you can stay connected to your Chalice family.

  • We encourage you to “like” and view our Chalice Facebook page daily  – https://www.facebook.com/CVUUF/

  • For conversation, please join our member’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/cvuufMembers/

  • In addition to viewing our services, there will be chances to connect, with regular updates and messages there.

  • How to use Facebook for beginners, seniors and boomers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVy6q2JHfKU

  1. Zoom

    1. Zoom is the platform we used during the fires.

    2. Zoom allows us to see one another, talk to and hear one another and share our computer screens.

    3. Zoom can be downloaded here: https://zoom.us

    4. How to use Zoom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFhAEoCF7jg

This Sunday, March 15, we will Facebook Livestream our service from the Sanctuary at 10 am. Only the people needed to conduct the service will be there. Everyone else can watch from the safety of their home.  If you miss the service for some reason, you can always watch it later on Facebook, YouTube, Podcast or through our website at ChaliceUU.org.

If you know of friends who are unfamiliar with Facebook or Zoom, now would be a good time to coach them in how to use it. For those among us who do not use technology at all, we will need to stay in touch by phone and watch out for one another. Please let us know if you know people who can only connect by phone. We want to be able to stay connected to them too.

Meanwhile, if you have urgent pastoral care needs, you may call, text or email Rev Nica at minister@chaliceuu.org or on her cell: (805) 410-3860. She can meet with you by phone or Facetime/Skype video. For general pastoral concerns, please contact our pastoral care team by emailing pastoralcare@chaliceuu.org. Please let us know how you are doing! Don’t hesitate to reach out. We care about you and want to hear from you. For needs which could be met by your neighborhood network group, please email neighborhood@chaliceuu.org.

Rev. Nica is also planning to hold Zoom/phone office hours for pastoral needs and staying connected. Watch Facebook for those announcements. Meanwhile, our Chalice Circles, Committee meetings, classes, women’s and men’s groups can continue to meet by Zoom should they choose. Group leaders, if you would like to schedule your group by Zoom, please be in touch with Jake Holland (communications@chaliceuu.org) or Rev. Nica for details on how to do that. We will be sending links to all participants, so you can join in with ease.

We are also planning Children’s Chapels via Zoom, as well as parent gatherings. Our DRE Sam will be in touch about those plans. Please let us know what you need to stay connected and form new friendships and we will do our best to support that.

For regular updates on what is going on in Ventura County, please check www.vcemergency.com

Our staff and lay leaders will be working harder than ever to adapt and respond to this evolving situation, and you will hear from us regularly throughout this crisis.

Beloveds: these are unprecedented times, but we will get through this together as a community. We are so blessed to be connected to one another during a time when many might feel extremely isolated and scared. We have shown ourselves to be resilient, courageous and creative in the past as a community, and we can continue to do that. Please know that the Chalice community is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns about how this will affect you or our community, please contact Board President, Tom Wolf (president@chaliceuu.org) or Rev Nica.

In faith, love and care,

Reverend Nica & the Board of Trustees